Chapter 127:

Volume 5, Chapter 11: Jump The Time (IV)

Heroes of the Past

Day IIBookmark here

“It’s actually Yuki. Well, let’s harass her and see….,” Shan said but shut his mouth after Ksi shot him a sharp, disapproving look.Bookmark here

“This is crazy,” Ichaival remarked, shaking his head.Bookmark here

Shan, Ksi, Ichaival, Lilith, and Lionel were all present. Everyone else was either busy or not in the area anymore.Bookmark here

“If I didn’t see her with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it,” Lilith said.Bookmark here

“So what are we going to do?” Lionel asked, pouring himself a drink.Bookmark here

“That’s why we’re here, right?” Zhuyu called over a waiter.Bookmark here

We were in one of the establishments Felicity owned. People rented out rooms like a karaoke bar, paying an hourly rate, and also any additional costs for special drinks or orders. Kisai consumed an entire bottle already, pouring glass after glass. I was worried about his consumption rate but he showed no signs of inebriation.Bookmark here

“It’s obvious. This version of Yuki won’t be here forever. There really isn’t much to decide,” Ksi stated.Bookmark here

“The potential return of the Traveler is not something that can be dismissed,” Zhuyu countered.Bookmark here

“He has a point,” Lilith supported Zhuyu.Bookmark here

“So yay or nay for kicking ass?” Kisai asked.Bookmark here

“Dude, we gotta talk about it first,” Jacque said.Bookmark here

“Long has a point but I see very clearly what Ksi means too. This Yuki will eventually return to her timeline. That leaves us to deal with anything that happens. At this point, all of us lack the time or energy,” Kisai elaborated.Bookmark here

“I really want a shot at the Traveler, but if he’s not going to do anything, let’s just sit back and relax. We don’t want any more casualties,” Lionel offered his opinion.Bookmark here

“We should back out, nothing worth fighting for. We can’t just jump in and expect things to go our way,” Ichaival added.Bookmark here

“Long, do you have any more information?” Lilith questioned.Bookmark here

“There’s no longer a Gatekeeper. Everything’s been sealed. I searched through all her stuff, but it’s impossible to decrypt. Even Jin only managed to decode a fourth of it,” Zhuyu revealed.Bookmark here

“Why don’t one of you assume the role?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“The person who inherits or receives the Gatekeeper powers must meet very specific criteria,” Kisai replied.Bookmark here

“I wonder if…. no, that’s too dangerous,” Lionel suggested before cutting his sentence short.Bookmark here

“Just spit it out, Lionel,” Lilith ordered.Bookmark here

“If this Yuki saw our version of Yuki, what would happen? The reaction could induce an artificial dimension,” Lionel hypothesized.Bookmark here

“That poses a huge risk. It might make matters worse,” Ksi pointed out a potential flaw.Bookmark here

“It might be worth trying. There is an alternative,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Let her see the Mirei of our time? Worth checking out,” Kisai guessed his friend’s intentions.Bookmark here

“You guys are married, right?” I glanced over at Ksi.Bookmark here

“Are you speaking to me, Tomo Yuki? Or to Shigetzu?” Ksi asked, furrowing her brows.Bookmark here

“I was talking to you, Ksi. It’s just, well, very strange for me, all of this. I just wanted to hear you confirm it I guess,” I replied, not backing down.Bookmark here

“I am married to Shigetzu. Is it really that strange?” Ksi replied, her face softening.Bookmark here

“Definitely. Everyone is undecided, huhh? I get it. Just don’t do anything rash. When you’re forced to, that’s different. But you still have freedom to decide,” I advised.Bookmark here

“Give us some time to think about it. I’m sure you agree, right?” Lilith nodded in agreement.Bookmark here

“Go for it,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“Yuki, why don’t you ask questions about us? I’m sure you’re curious about everyone,” Kisai suggested.Bookmark here

I was curious about everyone’s occupation. How much would I exactly remember? I retained all my memories from that strange past Mirei showed me. But this was the future, perhaps a false one, but still a potential one. I could see for myself how much it deviated once I returned.Bookmark here

“Ichaival, you weren’t in the area for awhile. What were you doing?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Just traveling, worked on a project for Felicity actually. I only came back a year ago after accepting a job here,” Ichaival revealed.Bookmark here

I noticed a ring on Ichaival’s hand. Zhuyu and Kisai weren’t lying about that.Bookmark here

“What’s your job like?” I continued my line of questioning.Bookmark here

“I’m a civil engineer, making sure things are safe. You remember Tai? I’m collaborating with him on a project. He’s designing the new headquarters for a new Shakai Group offshoot,” Ichaival revealed.Bookmark here

“How about you, Shan?” I shifted my attention to the married man.Bookmark here

“One of the heads of research and development for a paper company. I work at a lab in that fancy new campus they built a few years back just outside of downtown. I can’t be as good as Darryl apparently,” Shan replied, smiling.Bookmark here

“Pretty cool. Zhuyu was talking about how you got promoted,” I recalled.Bookmark here

“It’s what got me back here. Oh and Natalia too, of course. She was my main reason for returning,” Shan explained.Bookmark here

Pretty sweet of him. Shan wasn’t a bad person. I just never witnessed his actual dedication first-hand which made this impressive. Throughout these years, everyone matured. As they should, because it would be disappointing to see them take regress considering their potential.Bookmark here

“You’re engaged too, Ichaival. What’s your fiancée like?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“She’s a detective. I met her during my travels. She’s really smart and loves astronomy. It’s one of the things that attracted me to her,” Ichaival replied, all smiles.Bookmark here

“Sounds like a good match,” I complimented.Bookmark here

“Thanks Yuki. Still not used to seeing you like this,” Ichaival admitted, laughing.Bookmark here

“By the way, you said I was in a coma. Do you regularly visit me?” I was curious about their interactions with me.Bookmark here

“Long can answer that. He’s the one who’s visited you. Jacque too. They’ve stayed here so it’s easier for them than the rest of us who have left and come back,” Shan answered, pointing at the zero vector user with a smirk.Bookmark here

Zhuyu, huh? He seemed distant, but to think he cared the most… probably because I still didn’t understand him. I really should get to know everyone better. There was still a lot I didn’t know.Bookmark here

“The last time I visited was around a month ago. Jacque was with me. Not too much improvement but there wasn’t a decline,“ Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Your condition improved enough where they don’t need to monitor you 24/7,” Jacque added.Bookmark here

“What about Mirei?” I wondered about Ichizen’s little sister.Bookmark here

“About the same. It be nice if we could contact Shane and Emily, but with the dimensions sealed, nothing we can do,” Zhuyu answered.Bookmark here

“You’re pretty updated on everything. You’re basically just Tess at this point. You don’t seem undecided about returning at all,” I noticed.Bookmark here

“Would be nice for us to wrap things up, but like Darryl said, maybe it’s not worth it. Things could change with you here now,” Zhuyu responded, shrugging his shoulders, not showing his emotions.Bookmark here

There was a knock on the door and an employee entered with a tray of appetizers. A small note card accompanied the food. Zhuyu read it with a skeptical look. He sighed, handing the card over to Kisai.Bookmark here

“I guess she’s free tonight. She’s been busy with the company and her kid,” Kisai said, pouring another glass for himself.Bookmark here

“Is it okay for Kisai to keep drinking?” I asked, concerned about his condition.Bookmark here

“Jin’s always been like this. Kuan could tell you a bunch of stories. I haven’t witnessed Jin when he’s really drunk. I’m never there for those kinds of things,” Zhuyu assured me, glancing at the door with an uneasy expression.Bookmark here

“Where is Kuan anyways?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“Oh, he’s traveling abroad right now. Didn’t even know until Jin told me this morning,” Zhuyu revealed.Bookmark here

“Kuan always seemed like the indoor type to me. Should have known there was more to him. Is something wrong? You keep staring at the door,” I realized.Bookmark here

“You’ll see when she arrives. How does she even have free time?” Zhuyu muttered the last part of his sentence.Bookmark here

A few minutes later, there was another knock on the door. Zhuyu removed his glasses, massaging his eyes at the sound. Kisai just shrugged his shoulders and smiled. What the hell was going on?Bookmark here

“Hello everyone! Did you miss me?” Felicity’s clear and ever bright voice filled the room, breaking the somber mood.Bookmark here

She still retained her beauty. Although, work took a toll on her, as the bags underneath her eyes were noticeable. Her physical appearance overall remained the same.Bookmark here

“It really is you, Yuki! You have no idea how much I’ve missed you! It really makes me happy to see and chat with you even if it’s just for a short time!” Felicity chirped, giving me a big hug without any warning.Bookmark here

“Yeah, a little… tight there, Felicity,” I gasped as Felicity tightened her hold.Bookmark here

“I’m surprised you’re free today, Mrs. Konoe,” Zhuyu commented.Bookmark here

“So cold, Long. I had a little business here today. It’s not so surprising since I do own the establishment,” Felicity chuckled, releasing me.Bookmark here

“I’ll head out then. I’ll give you a call once I’ve thought about it,” Lionel announced, exiting the room without looking back.Bookmark here

“Same. I don’t want to interrupt this reunion. Hey, Long, pass along any information you get. I’ll talk to you soon,” Lilith decided.Bookmark here

Now it was just the heroes again. Well, the ones I was more accustomed to at least. Felicity wore an expensive ring, glistening even in the dim room lighting.Bookmark here

“We should go too. Both of us have work tomorrow,” Ksi said, standing up.Bookmark here

“Yep, work is pretty important. Remember that, Yuki,” Shan agreed.Bookmark here

Everyone was bailing. I thought Shan would stay longer, but his wife was adamant about leaving. I glanced over at Ichaival, sensing he was next.Bookmark here

“Darryl, I know you don’t have work tomorrow. Are you leaving too?” Felicity pointed at him.Bookmark here

“I’ll stick around but not for too long. Lyra would be worried and I promised her we would do something in the morning,” Ichaival answered.Bookmark here

“Stay as long as you can. It’s not often that we have a chance to reunite like this,” Felicity said.Bookmark here

“It’s been cool, guys, I should leave too. Gotta start the final touches for the project. Can’t let the boss down, right?” Jacque headed towards the door.Bookmark here

“When’s the deadline?” Felicity questioned.Bookmark here

“They said Tuesday but I’m behind. I really need to get working on it,” Jacque replied, checking his phone.Bookmark here

“What if I extended that deadline? Could you stay then?” Felicity offered.Bookmark here

“I appreciate it but that’s not a great idea. Hey Long, give me call if anything changes,” Jacque reminded his friend.Bookmark here

“Jacque, are you free after finishing your project? Let’s take Yuki to see Mirei,” Zhuyu questioned.Bookmark here

“Sounds like a plan. Let’s do it,” Jacque agreed before departing.Bookmark here

Kisai, Zhuyu, and Ichaival remained. The original three I met when investigating the map of heroism with Ichizen. What a strange turn of events. Mirei, did you do this on purpose?Bookmark here

“How’s everything going for you, Felicity? I heard you got married,” I brought up.Bookmark here

“Super well. Did you hear from Jin I also have a cute daughter too? Tell the past me things will be amazing for her,” Felicity spoke with her usual cheerfulness.Bookmark here

“How old is she?” I sipped my drink.Bookmark here

“She’s turning two in a few months. Didn’t Darryl or anyone else tell you?” Felicity stared at everyone with a piercing look.Bookmark here

“I thought it wasn’t relevant enough. More important things to worry about,” Zhuyu explained.Bookmark here

“How could you leave something so important out? Yuki, even though they’re older, these boys are still the same. Make sure get it through their thick skulls that delicacy and concern are important,” Felicity informed me.Bookmark here

“Whoa, that’s pretty unfair. I care even if Long doesn’t. Help me out here, Jin,” Ichaival argued, displeased by Felicity’s statement.Bookmark here

“Whatever you say, Darryl. I was planning on mentioning it,” Kisai said.Bookmark here

“Fine. I’ll forgive you. Yuki, did you hear about how everyone’s engaged?” Felicity pointed at Kisai and Ichaival.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I was talking to them about it before you came in,” I responded.Bookmark here

“Oh, not important, huh?” Felicity gave Zhuyu a disapproving look.Bookmark here

Zhuyu remained silent. What to do? Let’s change the topic back to Felicity. I’m sure she rather update me on her situation than bicker about such a trivial matter.Bookmark here

“What’s your husband like, Felicity?” I inquired.Bookmark here

“It’s an interesting story, Yuki. I’ll be glad to tell you!” Felicity nodded with excitement.Bookmark here

Jessica Staccato introduced one of her clients to the woman. They hit it off and after a few more meetings, started dating. Three years later, Felicity and her husband finally married and had their first child. I didn’t pay attention to half of Felicity’s story, feeling tired. She stated her husband’s name several times, but by the end, I just forgot.Bookmark here

“When did Ichaival leave?” I noticed his absence.Bookmark here

“He left ten minutes ago,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“And that’s how we met. I started a branch company with the permission of my father and it did really well. And you know the rest,” Felicity concluded, drinking water once she finished.Bookmark here

“That’s really cool,” I exclaimed, masking my lack of enthusiasm.Bookmark here

“I hope you’ll stay long enough to meet him. Jessica would love to see you again too,” Felicity wrapped up her long story.Bookmark here

“Great story, Konoe. Really loved it, great details!” Kisai complimented, his head slumped down on the table.Bookmark here

I really envy you right now, Kisai. Zhuyu wasn’t thrilled to be here either. Strange, I never noticed he had any issues with Felicity. Something must have gone awry at some point. Or maybe it was just his personality.Bookmark here

“Jin, should I call your fiancé?” Zhuyu shook his friend’s shoulder.Bookmark here

“Nah, I’m good. Let me just use the bathroom and I’ll be fine,” Kisai declined, stumbling out of the room.Bookmark here

“Long, how’s your teaching going? I heard impressive reviews,” Felicity questioned.Bookmark here

“About the same. I’m sure some of my students dislike me very much. That’s how things are. Not everyone is interested in learning the material. I get it. I’ve been there before,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“You’re too strict. You can’t expect people to love math like you do,” I commented.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’ve heard that before. Especially from Kristoph. I should take you to his shop,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Never thought he would be running a shop,” I remarked.Bookmark here

“He inherited the shop, but can’t be there all the time. His wife manages it for the most part since he has another job,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

After more idle chatting, everyone called it a night. There was more catching up on everyone’s personal lives than an actual strategy on how to approach the potential return of the Traveler. Although, I did enjoy seeing everyone’s future selves. It wasn’t set in stone so I was intrigued by how much of it would became reality.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.